How can diabetes cause joint pain?

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels are high for a long period of time, you are more likely to have problems with many different parts of your body. These problems can include having nerve damage in your feet and hands, kidney disease, heart disease, vision loss, gum disease and problems with your teeth, and osteoporosis.

One common problem that people with diabetes have is joint pain also known as arthropathy. This pain can happen when you have diabetes because of the high blood sugar levels. The high blood sugar causes a buildup of a certain chemical that can cause swelling and pain around the joints.

There are three main conditions related to diabetic arthropathy: neuropathic, vasculitic, and infectious. Each of these conditions can cause joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Neuropathic joint pain

Neuropathic joint pain or arthropathy is caused by damage to the nerves. This can happen when you have diabetes because of the high blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar level over a long period of time damages the small blood vessels that are supplying the nerve fibers. These nerve fibers being deprived of nutrients and essential materials may loose their functionality or even disappear.

When the nerves are damaged, they can’t send the right signals to the muscles and joints. This can cause them to become weak and tender.

Vasculitic joint pain

Another cause of arthropathy is vasculitic joint pain. This type of joint pain is caused by blood vessels which have been damaged because of diabetes. When the blood vessels become damaged, they can block or decrease the amount of blood that can go to your joints and muscles. Because there isn’t enough blood going to your joints and muscles, they can become painful and swollen.

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Inflammation of joints reduces the range of motion and flexibility of your joint. This harms your muscles since they might have blood clotting caused by immobility of a certain limb.

Infectious joint pain

The final type of diabetic arthropathy is infectious joint pain. This kind of joint pain is caused by an infection in the affected area such as the feet, toes, or knees. When you have diabetes it can make it harder for your body to fight off infections such as viruses or bacteria.

These infections can grow into your body causing gangrenes and decay on the skin as well as bones. This can lead your joints to become useless and may cause disability in different parts of your body.

Development of osteoporosis

Another change that can happen is the development of osteoporosis. This is a condition where you lose bone density, which can make your bones weaker and more likely to break. This is one of the most serious complications that can happen with diabetes.

Effect of diabetic obesity on joints

A body system that is directly affected by diabetes is blood circulatory system. Blood carries the nutrients and repairing materials that help bone heal and grow in case of any injury. Diabetic patients are often obese that gives us a clear hint how bearing greater weight causes our bone cartilage to dissolve and our joint bones to rub together. This injures the joints on a deep level and their recovery is also compromised due to the disturbed blood flow.

Consult a Doctor

If you are concerned about any changes in your joints, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to test your blood sugar levels and check for signs of diabetic arthropathy or osteoporosis. With proper treatment, the pain caused by this condition can usually be relieved so that you can go back to your normal routine. If you are using expensive diabetes medication like Levemir remember you can save hundreds of dollars a year on your prescription by joining a prescription advocacy program. Levemir coupons are easily attainable through these programs.

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In case you need to see a doctor you can find the Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Karachi and Orthopedic Surgeons in Darul Sehat Hospital.


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